Japan: A sizzling Cate Campbell leads Aussies into battle on night two

Japan: A sizzling Cate Campbell leads Aussies into battle on night two

Dolphins freestyle sprint stars Cate Campbell and Kyle Chalmers and backstrokers Emily Seebohm and Mitch Larkin have set the scene for a fast and furious second night of finals at the 2018 Pan Pacs at the Tatsumi International Swimming Centre tonight.
 
Fresh from her sizzling 50.93 relay split to anchor Australia to gold in the 4x100m freestyle relay, Campbell was back in the water for today’s 100m freestyle heats.
 
And it was Cate in cruise mode as she backed off coming home over the final stages to clock 53.27 to come in as the second fastest qualifier behind US Olympic and world champion Simone Manuel (53.23).
 
Campbell was still buzzing from her stunning anchor leg in the mixed medley relay win - the fastest women's split in history.
 
“I was really stoked to go under 51 seconds last night, very happy with that and don’t mind giving myself a little pat on the back,” Campbell said.
 
“I had a little piece of chocolate cake last night as a reward - I had been eyeing it off all week.
 
“The key for me is to swim as fast as I can and as smart as I can and if that means getting off the blocks faster then that’s swimming I have to do and that’s a good thing.
 
“But I went back to my room last night, watched a movie, read my book and came down…I’ll have a good nap this afternoon.”
 
Australian young gun Shayna Jack (53.61) also qualified as fifth fastest.
 
While Olympic champion Chalmers (48.23) looked strong towards his trademark backend and is the fourth fastest qualifier for the men’s 100m final.
 
Zach Apple is the top seed ahead of world champion and fellow American Caeleb Dressel.
 
Australia's rising star Jack Cartwright (48.43) also looked impressive qualifying as sixth fastest.
 
But London Olympic 100m champion Nathan Adrian of the US was among the big name casualties to miss out.
 
The stage is also set for an epic women's 100m backstroke final after Australia's Emily Seebohm broke the Pan Pac Championship Record by clocking 58.79 seconds in her first swim of the four-day meet.
 
"I didn't really know where I was at…I have just come here and tried to tough it out racing the best in the world," Seebohm said.
 
Unfortunately the record didn't last long.
 
In the next heat, world champion Kylie Masse of Canada clocked a new mark of 58.29 - the ninth fastest time in history.
 
Then world record holder Kathleen Baker of the United States won the final heat in 58.41.
 
When the dust settled, Masse was top qualifier for the final ahead of Baker and Seebohm which has the makings of a cracking race.
 
Australia's Kaylee McKeown (sixth) 59.91 also qualified in her fastest ever morning swim.
 
Still buzzing from helping Australia claim 4x100m mixed medley relay gold on the first night, Larkin was sixth fastest for tonight’s 100m men's backstroke final in 53.73 behind top qualifier, Olympic champ Ryan Murphy of the US while Bradley Woodward (54.38) will also swim the final.
 
"We had a fantastic camp up in Cairns, and my St Peters (club) squad and the whole Dolphins squad have been awesome," Larkin said.
 
Meanwhile Australia's Laura Taylor (fifth fastest) 2:09.88 and David Morgan (eighth) 1:57.12  have also secured places in their respective finals.
 
And the last two events on tonight’s final will be the men’s and women’s 4x200m freestyle relays which will see the Pan Pac countries determined to post faster times than their European rivals.
 

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